Sunday, June 29, 2008

Annual Adventureland Adventure

The Goodrich picnic was Sat. All employees and their loved ones were treated to a day of fun at the ever famous Adventureland just outside Des Moines in Altoona, IA. The Underwoods and Jerdees headed out just after lunch with full bellies and plenty of rest. They started the day off walking the Plank.

Kokamo Cove

The new adventure this year was Kokomo Cove. A water park inside the park. We thought it would be great in August, but around 78 degrees and breezy the roller coasters began calling.

We all braved the Outlaw, Dragon (a few times), and Tornado. We passed on the Space Shot after Uncle Adam reminded us of the two people seriously injured when the brake line snapped at another park. Amy talked Kim into the Sidewinder after which Kim said, "Never again!" Finally it was time for dinner.

But first we had to take care of a very important task. The Silly Silo (spin until you puke, best on an empty stomach).

After they were spun around (no adult would be foolish enough to join them), we had dinner. No more left overs for daddy. They finished it all. Fortunately, this was all you can eat so we all went away stuffed and ready to be shaken, dropped and spun some more.

Bumper Cars

Believe it or not, the hightlight of the day really was the bumper cars. Amy and Hunter, Blake and Kim, Adam and Dave. Time to let all that pent up agression out or was it time to become little boys again? They laughed and crashed for a good 3 minutes. After that we were ready to go home.

We did one trip down the log ride and headed to the shop to get the lighted sword thing 'everybody' had to have and made our way to the farthest outreaches of the parking lot (don't come to the park after 10 am and think you can park).

After a long day with their nephews they could still muster a smile. It was a good day!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hunter has his first sale!

Saturday morning at 6 am Hunter jumped out of bed and yelled, "Today is my sale!" We was in a hurry to get ready. Got dressed, ate breakfast and got his table ready with change, bags and his pad to track everyone's sales. We provided him a calculator but soon came to realize the only one's that needed a calculator were Nana and mom. It was soon left inside. Many customers were very impressed with his ability to add and make change in his head. He has always been quite skilled with math and money.
Hunter the Salesman. He sold this guy a TV, washer and dryer and a bookcase as well as several other odds and ends. Many walked away admitting he was so charming he could have sold them a box of rocks.
Hunter had a highly successful day. He met a Russian lady, a guy who's son lives in Iceland, a lady that wants to vote for him when he runs for President, a new friend that invited him over for a play date and a lady that kept coming back because he was just so "charming" as well as many more interesting people. He made everyone feel welcome to his sale, was willing to tell anyone why they needed to buy anything they were considering. Made some deals. Sold the old tee ball stand - threw in a wiffle ball free to close the deal. The buyer was about 80, but was sure she had grandkids that would love it.
The next day he got up and said, "Let's have another garage sale today!" Mom said, "NO, go back to bed."

Hunter, "The Heat," Underwood

Becky and Al here, reporting from our places in the sun.

The first baseball season ended yesterday with the Mustangs (Blake's team) winning 4 to 1. Lots of action, five quick innings, and the six-year-olds called it a wrap.

Blake sent a big one out to center field to bring in two runners. He never made it home, but it was a big contribution!

Hunter's Red Sox season ended with paper certificates for Team Effort. The coaches gave each team member a nickname printed on the award, something to signify their efforts. "The Heat" refers to Hunter's powerful, fast and furious pitching that took out three batters, one after another, each time he pitched an inning. However, after getting his fair share of chances to pitch, the others began to cry for their chances. So Hunter relinquished his spot on the mound in a show of good sportsmanship.
Ooops! Who is that? It's not The Heat. That's his dad, who pitched more during the last game than The Heat - what's up?
And what's this? - there's The Heat! Catching for his dad. Coach says, "To be a really great pitcher, you gotta do a little catching too!" The Heat's giving it a try.

As grandparents, we've entered a new era. No longer are WE the entertainment for our grandsons. Now they entertain US!

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Boys of Summer!

The Baseball season is in full swing. There have been several developments during spring season.

Hunter Underwood
Red Sox


It was the third game for the Red Sox. Hunter Underwood was still playing outfield and complaining every minute that he wanted to pitch. His coach just didn't know what he had. Finally, out of sheer irritation the coach put Hunter in during the last inning to pitch. It was 45 degrees and windy. Everyone really wanted to go home. One more painful inning and we could all be set free. Hunter steps up to the pitchers mound. He was bubbling with excitement. He wound up and strike. Another strike and another. One down. Again, strike, one ball and another strike. His coach, who was standing behind him on the mound, backed off and put his glove down and watched in amazement. In 5 very cold and exciting minutes Hunter had gotten three kids out in a row and we all got to go home. A pitcher was born!

Hunter has pitched in almost every game since. (the rules won't allow him to pitch all of the time). A batter has yet to get on base while he was pitching. He has other talents, but it is a sight to see him strike them out one, two, three every time.

Hunter will start his second season of baseball in July. He will have a whole new team. This time Dad will be his Assistant Coach. More to come......

Blake Underwood





Blake is in his third season of baseball and it appears baseball is in his blood! He has no favorite position -loves them all. He seems to be able to play them as too. His real passion though is to bat. He wants to hit it over the fence!

During his current season he was invited by another coach to play on an AAU competitive league team. He was pretty excited as that is a big deal for a 6 year old. He became #11 on the Mustangs.

The Mustang's had their first AAU tournament last weekend. Unfortunately, the chamionship games were rained out so we will never know the outcome, but they were a 6 seed. It was great for their first time together.

Blake played left field. At first he was a little disappointed until he realized he was playing with the best kids around. They actually hit it to left field several times. He was working hard. He can throw further than most of the kids on his team so he soon found himself very useful out in the field. Except for the one that went over the fence....

He came home with a new mission. Next time he is going to hit it over the fence. He has been practicing every spare chance he has and his batting is already improving. I would not be suprised if by August he gets one over that fence!

Blake, Hunter and Dave

In early June the Underwood men all received the honor of a new level belt in karate. Dave and Hunter reached Brown and Blake reached Green.

Their hard work and dedication to this discipline is showing in many ways. The boys are really learning a lot of self control, integrity, perserverence, spirit and courtesy. They have some work, but it is paying off.

Hunter receiving his brown belt. He is thanking his instructors.

Dave receiving his brown belt.

Below is Blake receiving his green belt. He is giving his thank you speech.


Of course mom is part of all the action. Who do you think keeps the schedule on track, drives everyone around, makes sure there is water, washes the uniforms, finds the lost hats, picks up the strappy stuff to fix the bat handle, takes them to the field to hit balls so they don't break a neighbors window, makes sure we have treats when it is our turn and cheers every time someone does anything remotely good!!???

I am in the market for a good stadium chair.

It's That Kind of Day

The Adam Jerdees are having a slow stroll through the inside of the Minnesota Zoo today. Staying warm, taking it easy... Like this g...